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Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part 5

Posted by Shane On September 5th

Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing great!!!!

 

I’m going to skip the boring stuff and get right into the Boating Guide… Lobster Mini Season In The Florida Keys 2014 Part 5.

 

We left off with the first day of Lobster Mini Season where we went out early, had a great day, and caught lots of Lobster.

 

Well then, you know what today is don’t you…. It’s the second and final day of the two day Mini Season. Today we lost half of our crew, but it’s all good, they decided to go to Key West for a day of sightseeing and shopping.  Key West is a beautiful place, it’s at the Southernmost tip of the United States and about a 90 minute drive from Marathon. The seafood here is fresh, fresh, all the food is amazing, the Bars are a blast, and the water is sparkling clear with all kinds of watersport and fishing options. You meet people from all over the world here, yes, all over the world.  Everyone is in a great mood, and why not, they’re on vacation!  The locals are laid back and relaxed. There is so much to do and see – visit the Key West Aquarium or the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum, ride the Conch Tour Train, stroll along Duval Street, relax at Smathers Beach or Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, tour the Hemingway House, take in the sunset shows at Mallory Square, the list goes on…  And you have a wide variety of overnight options like staying in a cozy Bed and Breakfast, renting a private house or condo, or checking into a big fancy resort hotel.  If you have never been to Key West, you must go, there’s something for everyone. Check this out – a rooster in someone’s front yard off Duval Street.

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After walking around all afternoon, our crew made their way to Sloppy Joe’s. Everyone has heard of the world famous Sloppy Joe’s! The food is good and the live entertainment is even better and it goes on all day and into the night.

 

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Here’s the sunset on the drive back home from Key West to Marathon, Key Colony Beach…..

 

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As I mentioned above, half our crew went to Key West for the day. The rest of us hopped in the boat and headed out to our secret lobstering spot on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Keys. This spot is so secret, sometimes the Lobsters cannot even find it… Just kidding… It was a beautiful sunshiny day. There was a light breeze, the water was calm and so pretty. We had about a 13 mile run to the “secret spot”.

 

Along the way we passed the Key Colony Beach Club; here are some photos of the Club from the water. It’s a really pretty place with a restaurant, pool, and beach right on the Atlantic Ocean.  And check out some of these McMansions!  These homes are huge and so beautiful…  

 

 

 

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Those properties are just incredible.. Want to buy one or two? I’d be happy to show them to you and sell them to you 🙂

 

Back to our 13 mile journey to our secret spot….My crew consisted of three teenagers and me. So this means 6 Lobster per person equals 24 – we could get 24 more Lobsters today.

 

 

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The GPS said we were getting closer and closer and closer to our spot. Once again the anticipation was building and building. Will the Lobster be there? Will they be legal size? When we got to our spot we threw the anchor out and got lined up right where we needed to be with the wind direction and the direction of the current. We were right on it. Wade and I suited up with our dive gear and we hit the water. The water felt great – nice, cool and refreshing!!!!!!  We let the air out of our BC’s and slowly sank to the bottom…Oh my Gosh, does this spot have sea life! There was an outgoing tide so the water was a little murky, which was just fine. There were coral heads on this spot, small ledges, and a bunch of sea fans. This place is a fish haven! There were Snapper, Grouper, Hog Fish, Grunts, so many species that even I didn’t know what they were. Beautiful Angel Fish, so much sea life. Even though we were not there to spear fish, my son Wade brought his speargun down just in case. Check out these photos….

 

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Within a few minutes we found what we came here for…….oh yeah……..

 

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Oh Yeah, turns out they were too small, so we left them alone.  We searched some more and I thought I saw what looked like tentacles.  As I got ready to reach in the hole and pull the Lobster out, guess who peered out of his castle and gave me the look?  “Yeah, stick your hand in here buddy”,  it was a Spotted Moray Eel. Take a look…

 

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I made a quick choice, it was better to leave him alone and move on. I told you before that Moray Eels have teeth that are curved back, so when they grab their prey, it doesn’t get away.  Meanwhile, Wade found a nice rock ledge and was trying to get a Lobster out. In the struggle to get the Lobster out, Wade broke off his tentacles, then the little booger came out the other side of the rock for his getaway…  take a look…

 

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No fear, I gave chase and got that booger……We expanded our search and looked and looked. Again, there were sooooo many fish….mixed in with all those Snapper was a nice Hog Fish. He’s the fish with the black dot on his tail..

 

 

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We searched some more and holy cow, did we find the honey hole. Look at them all. In the rocks, on the rocks, hanging upside down. Now this was going to take some planning to make sure that they didn’t all scatter. Wade and I have our underwater hand signals. We determined which ones we were going to get first and how we were going to get them. Wade and I have done this for years and we are, I feel, the best team. He knows what I am thinking and I know what he is thinking always….. Take a look at the honey hole…

 

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Look at this next photo closely, see all those tiny little microscopic fish. They are so tiny. In the previous Boating Guides, we spoke about ecosystems within ecosystems. We spoke about the Sargasm Weed ecosystem way out in the Atlantic Ocean. We spoke about the ecosystem on the Gulf side at the ledges and holes. Now here we are on a completely different type of reef on the Atlantic Ocean side. Just amazing, all the life that is in this one spot. Wouldn’t it be nice for our kids, their kids, and future generations to be able to enjoy this too?  That’s why it is so important to do your part in keeping our environment clean and encouraging others to do the same…..

 

Needless to say we had almost reached our limit of Lobster on this one rock. We took the biggest ones and of course did not touch the small ones, called “shorts”.  We searched for a few more minutes and bingo, we found another rock full of Lobsters and a Grandpa Lobster –  he was a big one!

 

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While we were down there Wade saw a legal size Red Grouper. He gave me the hand signal, “can I shoot it”?  I signaled back “sure, it’s legal”.  Wade, in his stealthy way, snuck up on the Grouper which was sitting by a coral head.  As Wade approached the Grouper, I was thinking in my head –  wait for the clean shot, wait, wait. Wade got closer and closer, I was thinking in my head – wait, wait, make it a clean shot.  I thought in my head – NOW Wade, NOW!!!!!!!!  Within a second… BAM, Wade shot, a direct head shot, instant kill. No suffering on the fish’s part, and no thrashing around in the water to attract the sharks that live in this area. We had our limit of Lobster and Wade shot a nice Red Grouper. It was time to head to the boat and double check our Lobster to be sure they were all legal size.  Check out the photos…

 

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What a nice day’s catch…  and time to head back in. What an amazing day; the sun was out, the water was calm and beautiful…

 

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When we got back to the dock, we set out our Lobster and fish and took photos…….

 

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Another fantastic day on the water.. Words cannot describe how beautiful the Florida Keys are. The weather for us on this trip was amazing. The fishing was amazing, the Lobstering was amazing. Our friends and families were amazing. The memories we all created here will be imprinted in our minds forever. For the kids to experience this, they will never forget this vacation full of boating, fishing, Lobstering , swimming on the reefs. These are things they will always remember…

 

If you ever make plans to go to the Keys, remember, I was raised there. I can tell you cool places to go to and see, things to do, charter boat captains to use, places to stay. I would be happy to share my knowledge with you.

 

There was one more day in the Keys full of snorkeling Alligator Light and boating, but I feel you all want to hear about the boating and places to go here locally in Southwest Florida. So look out for next week’s Boating Guide, some of you have sent me requests to write about certain places here, and boy, there are plenty. If you want to know where to go by boat for anything, you let me know and I’ll share my years of experience here on the water with you.

 

Remember to make time for your family and friends. Make a plan and work that plan. Life is so short.

 

Until next time make it a great day and even better weekend.

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

  

 

Hello everyone, I hope you are doing great!!!!!

 

I am going to jump right into Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Three. Last week we left off with a great day of fishing and hanging out with family and friends at the sandbar. Today is the day before the Big Day, “Opening of Lobster Mini Season”! We’re going to head out and scout out our spots in the Florida Bay. We’ve gathered these spots for several years and while we are out, we look for new spots to hit as well. The night before, Anne asked if we could take her water skiing first thing in the morning. I said “sure, we’ve boated, fished, gone diving, the least we can do is take Anne water skiing”. We got up early, pulled into a cove and pulled Anne. I have to admit, she’s really good.. take a look….

 

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On the way back in we really began to admire these homes here in Key Colony Beach. Some of them are massive huge and others are not so huge, but the architecture is amazing. There is even one home that looks like it was designed around this big catamaran yacht; almost like a house for their boat. Take a look..

 

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Now it was time to head out for the day and scope out our secret spots for Lobster, so we cruised over to pick up our friends, the Mazzola family. The part of the Florida Bay where we look for lobster is shallow, with depths in this area ranging from 2 feet to about 8 – 10 feet. We have saved all of our secret spots we’ve found over the past couple of years in our GPS so we know right where to go. Keep in mind, season has been closed for months, so most of these spots are going to be full of lobster. We ran out about 10 miles to the first spot and “whammy”, the GPS indicated we were right on our spot, and by golly, we were on it!  We jumped into the water to check it out and wouldn’t you know… we had lots of Bugs (Lobsters). You can’t touch them though at this point, they’re still out of season. We just wanted to check and make sure that these spots were going to produce. Take a look, this is what it looks like once you’re in the water looking down toward the ledges and seagrass. It’s pretty neat…

 

 

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There were a lot of Lobster at this spot!

 

Take a look at this beautiful Queen Angel Fish swimming into a hole..

 

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We went to another spot, and yet another spot, and they were all full of Lobster…

 

 

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We went to more spots and they were full too..:-)

 

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Now look at this next photo…  I put the camera underwater and pointed it into a hole on a rock ledge – see the long green thing, that’s a Moray Eel. Bad news if you reach into a hole for a lobster and he clamps onto your hand, you’ll be lucky to get your hand back in once piece. Their teeth are angled backwards so when they bite on to something it can’t escape. If you look to the top of the photo there’s a tiny red cleaner shrimp. These little shrimp are known to crawl into the mouths and gill slits of a fish and clean off all the parasites in the fish’s mouth and gill slit areas. No, typically the fish do not eat these shrimp. This is what you would call a symbiotic relationship. Now look to the bottom of the photos; see the brown rounded shape? That’s a baby Nurse Shark’s head. As I mentioned earlier, there’s the ecosystem in the Sargasm weed line in the Atlantic Ocean, and then there’s a whole other ecosystem on the Bay side. All of these creatures live in entirely different ecosystems with some dependent on each other, and others just getting along and sharing a home. Either way, it’s never a good idea to blindly stick your hand into a hole looking for a Lobster or you may get a not so nice surprise…

 

 

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We moved on to another spot to check for Bugs (Lobsters) keeping in mind that when we come back tomorrow for opening day, I should not stick my arm in the hole where the Moray Eel and Nurse Shark live.:-)

 

Look at our other spots, I think we’re all set…..

 

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We scouted almost all of our holes and came to the conclusion that we would have plenty of spots and we would surely limit out on Bugs in a short time.:-)  Everyone was getting hungry so we decided to go have lunch at a place called Shuckers Raw Bar & Grill on the water in Marathon. The service was great here and so were the food and drinks…

 

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After lunch we decided to go home and rest up, but then someone suggested we run out to Sombrero Lighthouse, so we headed out to the Lighthouse. It’s such a beautiful place, the water is crystal clear, there are thousands upon thousands of fish everywhere. Tall coral formations, small caves and ledges, just beautiful.  In this first photo, if you look way out into the distance you can see the Lighthouse.  We had leftovers from lunch so we fed the fish; within 20 seconds there were hundreds of fish all around us, pretty amazing…

 

 

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What a stunning reef, one that I’ll never forget.  When we arrived at the Lighthouse, my buddy Craig jumped into the water and saw a Nurse Shark swimming very slowly and gracefully away from him.  Craig swam underwater to get closer; the closer he got, the shark would get that much further away. Craig came up for air and went back down. Once again, Craig was within a foot of the Nurse Shark, and as he tried to get a little closer, the Nurse Shark would stay just far enough away. After Craig told me of this encounter, I mentioned to him that the shark knew exactly where Craig was at all times and he stayed just far enough away for his own comfort. Craig thought this was the best!!!!!! and it was!!!!!!! 

 

By this time it was getting late, nearly 6:00 pm and time to head in after a long, wonderful day on the water. What a fantastic day. The weather was great, the water was great, the company was great!!!!!!

 

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Just wait until next week, the Big Day… Opening of Lobster Mini Season… Wait until you read and see the photos of this adventure!!!!  You are not going to want to miss it.

 

Until next time… Make time for your family and friends. Do the things you dream of. Make your plans and stick to your plans. You will make it happen….Time goes by soooo fast.

 

See ya,

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

 

 

Hello Everyone, I hope you are doing great!!!! I am going to jump right into the Boating Guide with the fun stuff, Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Two. We left off with a great day in the boat fishing, going to Sombrero Lighthouse Reef to snorkel, and finishing off the day with our family and friends at the Key Colony Beach Sandbar…

 

Today is a new day and a new adventure. Since we didn’t have much luck yesterday, we decided this time we would run 20 plus miles offshore in search of Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi). We loaded up the boat with all of our gear and bait and headed over to pick up my buddy Craig and his kids. It was a beautiful run out. The Ocean had small 2-3 foot swells and we quickly ran out to the first shipping lanes. You do not realize how huge these cargo ships are until you are right up on them. Take a look…

 

 

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We saw some birds and weed lines so we put our lines in and… nothing. I said to my crew, “let’s not waste time like yesterday, we are gonna run out 20 to 25 miles and look for birds and weed lines”. So we pulled our lines in and headed out farther. We saw quite a few weed lines, but no birds. I said “let’s go out farther”. We saw several pods of diving birds all around some weed lines. I said “guys, this is it, get those trolling rods out, quick, quick!!!!!”  In about 10 or 15 minutes…. Bam, Fish on!!!!!!! Rod number one, Bam, Fish on; rod number two, Bam, fish on; rod number three. We had three fish on at one time… Holy cow!!!!!!!! Controlled mayhem!!!! Craig got his fish up to the boat and someone gaffed it and put it in the fish box. As the other two Dolphin were pulled to the boat, the whole school of 60 plus Dolphin were swimming all around!!!!!! check it out…

 

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I yelled “chum, chum, get some cut bait in the water quick to keep the Dolphin around the boat”!  Craig jumped into action, cutting up the Ballyhoo and chucking chunks into the water. Meanwhile, Boogie has a fish on, Wade has a fish on and Tyler has a fish on and Paige has a fish on!!!!!! and we have three rods out of commission with no hooks. (Sometimes it’s easier to cut the line, throw the fish in the fish box, and get the hooks later). Once again, controlled mayhem!!!!  We got Tyler’s fish in the boat, Boogie’s fish in the boat and tried to get Paige’s fish in the boat, but the line broke. We rigged the other three rods with missing hooks in a matter of minutes and had them back in the water pulling up more fish, one after another.  

 

 

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If you think these Dolphin are beautiful fish in these photos, wait until you see them in real life. The colors on these fish are spectacular greens, blues and yellows…..Wade said “Dad, I have always wanted to spear a Dolphin”.  I said “Wade hop in and get some”!!!!!  Wade put on his gear, jumped in the water, and about this time the Dolphin went deep, too deep to chase.

 

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I said “guys let’s regroup and get our rods ready and baited and ready to go for the next school of fish we find”.

 

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We ran to another group of birds and weed lines, dropped our lines in and began to troll. After about 10 minutes, something didn’t feel right. I cannot explain the feeling I had. Something told me to have Craig turn the boat to another fat weed line near some birds. Once we got to it, I said “stop the boat and drop your lines”. Wade said “there’s nothing here Dad”, I said “yes, there is”. Call it luck, call it a hunch or a feeling….all of a sudden a dozen plus Dolphin came shooting out from under the boat. Bam, Bam, Bam fish on, fish on, fish everywhere. Craig was already on the chum, throwing chunks into the water. The kids each had a Dolphin on their rods!!!!  Wow, once again, controlled mayhem. One fish was gaffed and brought into the boat but missed the fish box. These fish are strong, I mean strong, ask anyone who Dolphin fishes. A 30, 40, or 50 pound Dolphin flapping around your cockpit can cause some serious damage. As they are frantically flapping around the boat, you had better get out of the way or you could end up seriously hurt. Broken bones, massive bruises, broken fishing rods, flying gaff if left on the floor of the boat. This Dolphin was under 15 pounds and still, blood was flying everywhere. We jumped on it and Craig opened the fish box and we shoved the fish in and Craig slammed the fish box lid!  Thank goodness, ’cause when that lid shut it sounded like an angry 220 pound man banging on the fish box hatch lid from the inside!!!!  Oh boy, we were covered in blood, the cockpit was covered in blood, what a mess, but what fun. One of the kids used the salt water wash to clean up the blood and the other kids were still fighting fish. After all this, we were able to bring a few more to the boat.

 

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My son Wade says, “Dad can I get in and spear some fish”. I said “sure”. Keep in mind we are 22 miles out in 1,000 feet of water.  Within 2 or 3 minutes I see Wade swimming to the boat; he jumps out of the water and pulls up his spear cord from his spear gun. He was soooo excited!! His first speared Dolphin, he was in Heaven. He said “Dad can I go back out”?  “Sure son, go spear another one”.  Meanwhile, everyone in the boat is still pulling in Dolphin.

 

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Here comes Wade with another Dolphin – I was amazed. Craig kept the chum chunks of Ballyhoo in the water which kept the Dolphin coming back so Wade did not have to venture far from the boat..

 

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I think Wade speared about 4 Dolphin. Of course, throughout this entire process while Wade was in the water with everything going on, I kept a watchful eye on him. Suddenly his swimming demeanor changed, he was not swimming normally. He was swimming briskly back to the boat, back first, facing the opposite direction of the boat with his spear gun pointed straight in front of him. In my mind I am thinking one of two things, he speared a big Dolphin and was having a tough time pulling him back to the boat, or he had a shark in his sights. I have always taught my children if you ever see a shark in the water, DO NOT panic, keep your cool. You keep your eyes on that shark and you do not take your eyes off that shark until you reach the boat. If you have a spear gun, pole spear, a spear shaft, you keep that between you and the shark. If that shark starts to get too close, you jab that shark as hard as you can and he’ll turn away. Thank goodness Wade did not have to do that. He got to the boat and out of the water and said,  “Dad…”  I finished his sentence and said “you saw a Shark.” He said “yes, a big one, about 8 or 10 feet long”. So many people have misconceptions about sharks; 9.9 times out of 10 they are not there to eat you. In this case, the Shark smelled the blood in the water from the fish, he sensed the thrashing fish in the water and was coming in for a closer look and maybe an easy meal. No, not Wade, the injured fish.

 

At this point we had 25 Dolphin in the boat and that was plenty to feed our families and bring some home to freeze. What a beautiful day, sunny, breezy, the seas laid down, what a great ride home from 22 miles out in the ocean.  Again, coming in and watching the changing colors of the water is amazing. It goes from the dark purple to dark blue to light blue, just beautiful….

 

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Now comes the fun part, Haaaa, cleaning all the fish. This is a huge job in itself, but can be fun sometimes to look in their stomachs and see what they have eaten. Most of the time you will find file fish, small jacks, small crabs and other types of fish. When we are chumming the water we will later find those chunks of Ballyhoo or squid in the Dolphin’s stomach. I know all this sounds nasty, but it really is not. It teaches all the kids that watch us clean the fish, and the adults too, about the natural food chain and how important our ecosystem is. It teaches them how important it is to keep our oceans clean; it’s like Marine Biology 101. We are showing people that if the weed lines are not healthy, they may become non-existent. If there are no weed lines, there are no nurseries for the baby, shrimp, crabs, and fish to live. No baby shrimp, crabs, fish, then there is no food to sustain the Dolphin, Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, etc. that live in the open oceans.  I read somewhere that Dolphin are voracious eaters and can grow an inch per week. I think the article said that Dolphin are the fastest growing fish in the ocean.

 

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Finally, we got all those fish cleaned and packed on ice. A friend texted to tell us that everyone was hopping in their boats and running to a sandbar for some cold beverages and to hang out and relax in the warm ocean water. Well, you didn’t have to ask us twice. We loaded up all the  boats and headed to the sandbar….

 

 

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What a long, great, fantastic day!!!!!!!!  Fishing, relaxing with family and friends. It doesn’t get any better than this!  Well, yes I guess it does. The girls informed us that the men were taking them out to dinner with the kids because they were NOT cooking.. why not ??;-) ….so we all went out to supper and had a great time. When we got home everyone hit the beds and they were out in a minute, dreaming about our big day tomorrow – scouting out our secret Lobster holes…

 

This is all for now. Please look for the Boating Guide next week to read Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part Three. We’re going to take you to my top secret Lobster holes out in the bay, I cannot wait!!!!!! 🙂

 

Until next time, make time for your family and friends. There is nothing more important than your family so plan to make time. I hear so many people say, “there’s not enough time to do everything”. You know what? You’re correct. In that case, you must prioritize those things that are most important to you in life.  Make a plan, stick to your plan, and you will have no regrets.

 

Make it a great week!!!

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson 

Fishing

Posted by Shane On July 31st

Hello everyone, I do hope you are doing great. Have I got a great adventure for you on this week’s boating guide!!!

 

First, let’s talk some business and then on to the fun stuff. I get many e-mails from folks asking how our waterfront real estate market is doing?? Let me tell you, it is great! If Waterfront Homes are priced at market value, they are selling. Of course, some sellers who have their homes on the market that are over priced have the perception that the market is bad and nothing is selling. That is way wrong! I watch the Waterfront Activity Report every day, and of course, I’m out in the market everyday, and there are more waterfront properties pending right now in south Ft. Myers than I have seen in a long time. There are more properties over $1,000,000 going pending and closing than I have seen in a long, long time. The lower priced waterfront properties are selling; the mid-range waterfront properties are selling; and the $1,000,000 and above are selling. Interest rates are still at all time lows. I do get some people saying to me, “oh can you believe interest rates are up to 4.5 percent?”   I have to chuckle inside. Come on guys, 4.5%… hello, that’s amazing. I remember when interest rates were 8%, 9% and 10%.. Remember in the 1980’s when rates were 18%?  Interest rates as I said, are still very, very low. You can buy a lot of house for your money and property is still affordable. If you have any questions about real estate, feel free to call, text, or e-mail me and I will do my best to help you any way I can. Remember, I have this really cool program (yes it is free) that will send you new listings in your area as well as property going pending. You can actually set it up to search any area you would like. It is really neat, I have a bunch of folks using it and they love it.  Again, it’s a free service that I offer to my Boating Guide followers.

 

Okay, now on to the fun stuff…. Fishing.. Oh My Gosh.. The fishing has been amazing!  I do not think there is a day that goes by that friends, fishing buddies, customers, clients, are not sending me photos of fish they have caught. You would not believe it – Snook, Red Fish, Trout, Mackerel, Flounder!  My other peeps fishing offshore are catching Black Fin Tuna and Dolphin (Mahi, Mahi), yes, out in the Gulf. Not huge ones, but good sized gaffers!!!!! They are sending me photos of Red Grouper, Gag Grouper, Black Grouper, Red Snapper, Lane Snapper.. All these guys are killin’ me!!!!!!!!! 🙂 That’s it, I have been busting my behind at work – WE are going out fishing ourselves!!!!

 

I called a buddy and his family and said “let’s go fishing; we are gonna hop in the boat and run 30 plus miles out, and on the way back in we’ll stop and spear fish!!!!”

 

Sunday morning we loaded up the boat with my buddy, his wife, their two daughters, a boyfriend and another friend. I loaded my family onboard – Wade, Annie, our neighbor Nancy – and we headed out!! The weather was so calm, flat calm, just a small ripple on the water. Take a look at our motley crew…….

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Yes it was flat calm out, what a beautiful run out to our spot about 30 miles. On the way, we saw so much marine life. We saw Dolphins jumping. We saw numerous Loggerhead Sea Turtles. We saw Flying Fish. There were lots of birds circling over massive pods of bait. Nervous bait. “Nervous bait” means that there are groups or “pods” of bait that are being chased and eaten by predatory fish below.  The smaller fish, or bait, are getting pushed up to the top, so the birds can eat them as well.

 

It is hard to explain this through words, but as you get farther out to sea, the water begins to turn colors. Closer to shore it’s like a milky turquoise color. As you go farther out, the water clears and turns to a beautiful emerald blue and as you get even farther out, it turns to a more brilliant cobalt blue. It is soooo pretty. I tried to capture it on camera for you, but it did not come out. After just short of an hour run we were coming up to our spot, the kids were getting so excited to catch some fish. We pulled out the frozen squid and Spanish sardines; Grouper love this bait! Jordan, Mark’s daughter, was the first to hook up….FISH ON!!!!!!!!!  Jordan fought that fish like a true champion fisherwoman..she pulled up a nice Red Grouper.. Yum Yum…

 

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No sooner had Jordan dropped her bait down again – Bam – FISH ON!!!!!!!!! Then her sister Madison had one on!!! We had a double header guys!!!!!!!!!!! Check these fish out… Jordan’s Red Grouper was even bigger this time.

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Holy cow! The girls, three fish; the guys, NONE!!!!!! 🙁

As we were fishing, we noticed a large remora fish swimming under the boat. These are the fish that you see stuck on sharks along their sides and bottom. Remora eat the scraps of food that the sharks do not. My son Wade thought it would be fun to catch and show everyone, then let it go. Once we got it in the boat, Wade showed everyone how it will suck on to your chest (do not try this at home :-)……

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See the suction cup head the remora has? Pretty neat. And yes, it stuck on Wade’s chest pretty hard. We never thought about that..LOL!  Wade was left with a faint “remora tattoo” but was fine, and we let the fish go. What were the other girls doing? They were up on the front of the boat being silly having a great time enjoying the beautiful ocean air and sunshine. It really was an amazing day.

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We said “we cannot let these girls beat us by catching more fish!”, so the boys caught a keeper Red Grouper…

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By this time, believe it or not, some of the crew were getting bored…. I said “let’s hit it!!! Let’s run into some shallower water and spear some fish” so we ran about 15 to 18 miles to a top secret spot. It is so secret we were not even sure the fish knew where it was. We set the anchor; Mark suited up and was over the edge. Wade and I suited up and we went over the edge with spear guns in hand. I swear, it seemed that by the time we got to the bottom, Mark already had Grouper and big Mangrove Snapper on his stringer. There were hundred and hundreds of fish, crabs, marine life. We even saw a nice Lobster..(they are out of season). We hand picked the biggest Snapper and Hogfish to shoot. When we spear fish, we DO NOT decimate! We only take what we need to have a few nice meals. After about 45 minutes on the bottom we came up with our fish. I must tell you, Mark is a spearfishin’ fool. He is good!!!!

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After this photo the girls piped in, “hey what about us????” Okay, Okay… Here ya goooooooo…..They wanted to show off the fish too…..:-)

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On the way back in the wind kicked up and the seas got a little choppy, but it was nothing for the 31 T Contender with Twin 350 Horsepower Yamaha motors. She sliced through those waves like it was nothing!

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What an amazing fun filled family and friends day. We could not have asked for better weather and better company. Everyone had a grand time!!!!

 

Yes, we all took fish home that day and oh my gosh was it good, good, good……

 

Until next time make it a great week. Make time to do the things you want to do. You must plan it. Because if you do not plan it, it will not get done and may never happen. Enjoy your family and friends now so you will never look back with any regrets, saying I wish I would have done that, or gone there, or seen him or her. Like Nike says!!!! JUST DO IT!!!!!!!

 

Make it a great adventure…!!!!

 

Shane” Waterfront” Wilson

 

 

The Gulf Shore Grill & The Cottage

Posted by Shane On July 17th

Have I got a place for you to go boating this weekend.  Have you heard of the Gulfshore Grill & The Cottage on Ft. Myers Beach?

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This is a great time of year to go. If you like to people watch and have a great time you have to go!  Once you have anchored off  Ft. Myers Beach, you can walk up to the beach and eat lunch at the Cottage. You can sit on a deck or inside over looking the beach and Gulf of Mexico and watch the people, It is really quite amusing.

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The food at The Cottage is really good an the cold beverages are great too. If you want to dine inside in the air conditioning walk next door to the Gulfshore Grill which also offers amazing views of the beach and Gulf of Mexico. The food here is really good as well. After lunch you can go down stairs to the Beach Bar and hang out, enjoy a cold beverage, people watch,  throw a Frisbee,  play smash ball or just relax in the refreshing waters of the  Gulf of Mexico.  You will have a great time here, everyone is happy and having a great time!!!  DO not forget your camera.

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How Do You Get There?

This is easy. Starting from the Sanibel Causeway, head towards Fort Myers Beach VIA the inter coastal waterway. Keep heading parallel to Ft. Myers Beach. You will see the big concrete pier. Just past the pier you will see a large green building, the Lani Kai. The Gulfshore Grill and The Cottage are to the left of the Lani Kai.Have fun.

 

Picnic Island

Posted by Shane On June 12th

If you do not  have time to run all the way to Ft. Myers Beach or the barrier islands to go to the beach,go to Picnic Island. This is a great place to take the family and friends and it is an easy run. The kids  love it here as do the adults. In the last several years, mother nature has created a neat lagoon on the NW side of the island. I would only suggest smaller boats anchor on this side of the island. It gets shallow when the tide goes out and I have seen many, many people stuck until the next high tide. I would suggest anchoring on the NE side if the Island. There is plenty of water there. I bring My 28 footer right up to the beach and kick up both motors.   Remember to mind the tides. This Island is a great place to have family cookouts and meet friends in their boats. The kids have a blast playing in the sand and the adults can relax and watch the kids play.

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If you are really outdoorsy and like to camp. Camp on the island. There are many places to pitch a tent and have a camp fire. (Use common sense with the camp fire) and fish off the beach at night. You will be amazed at what you can catch right off the beach at night. Please remember this, not everyone picks up after themselves, please if you are ever at Picnic Island and you see trash on the ground or in the water, please do not be afraid to pick it up and put it in your trash bag. I know we all want to keep this place a beautiful place to visit. As we all know most people follow by example. Have a great time and boat smart!!

How Do I Get There?

This is easy.  Coming from Cape Coral Yacht Club, get into the ICW and head towards the mouth of the river. Go through the slow zone, when it says to resume normal speed, go almost straight ahead, you will see a green marker, should be Green marker #3.  This is the opening of the miserable mile as some people call it. Proceed staying in the channel and do not go outside the channel or you will run aground. When you get to Green Marker #7, you will see Picnic Island up on your left –

 

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(Google image seen above)

 

Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 4

Posted by Shane On December 16th

Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 4

 

Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing great! We have been very busy here in Southwest Florida since our last issue of the Boating Guide.

The weather has actually gotten warmer since we spoke last and it is beautiful out, a little windy, but sunny blue skies. The snowbirds are definitely coming down, roads are filling up.  Restaurants are busy, the waterways are full of boats, and people are enjoying the climate, fishing and beaches.

The fishing here continues to be on fire! I’ve spoken to many of my friends who’ve been on the water fishing and they’re catching large mangrove snapper, large Snook (which are being released because they are out of season), and catching lots of Redfish, as well as Mackerel off the beaches.  The bait fish are everywhere with big threads at the Sanibel Causeway. Small white bait and green backs are being caught off of Fort Myers Beach and the grass flats.  Now is a great time to have your line in the water !!!

 

Another great thing is, the Army Corps of Engineers has stopped dumping water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River. Our waters have become so clear it is absolutely amazing. I wish the water would stay like this year ’round!  We are getting lots of Snook, Redfish, Snapper and many other species moving up the River again. There are large schools of mullet and dolphin migrating back up into the River as well.

 

I’ve spoken to some other friends who’ve been offshore fishing for grouper and here’s a recent update from FWC… 

NEW: At the September meeting, the FWC Commission eliminated the February 1 through March 31 grouper closure for black, red, yellowfin, yellowmouth, rock hind, red hind, and scamp. These species of grouper are now open year-round in state waters of the Gulf.

My fellow anglers are pulling in lots of Grouper, Cobia and Permit out on the artificial wrecks and ledges.  All this talk of fishing makes me want to skip out on work and get on the water…  I just may have to go grab one of my clients, take the boat out, and see what we can catch!

 

I’ve spoken to several of my friends who are still up North –  they sure are getting a cold snap!  Lots of snow, ice and freezing weather with the wind chill pushing the thermometer below freezing.  I’m so thankful and grateful that I live in sunny Southwest Florida.
date on our local real estate market, whether it be on the water or off the water, feel free to email me and I will set you up on my Listingbook program.  Listingbook is a free service that I provide to my clients that will send you emails each day of new listings that come on the market as well as price reductions on properties that fit within your chosen parameters.  I think you’ll like it, it’s a great way to explore the area and a great Real Estate tool.
Okay now on to the fun part, “The Boating Guide: Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 4”.
We left off last time with our second group of people and small children going out in the boat and catching more lobster in the afternoon.  What a great time it was!

After a good night’s sleep we headed out for the second day of mini season in the Florida Keys.  We headed out to several of our spots on the the north side of the Keys, Florida Bay, but did not do quite as well as we did in our morning venture. Many of our Bay spots were cleaned out so we decided to go out on the Atlantic Ocean to some patch reefs in about 25 to 30 foot of water. Once we got to our spot, Wade and I strapped on scuba tanks and went down for a look. This area is full of coral heads and sea fans; just a beautiful, beautiful place to dive. Crystal-clear with a visibility of over 40 feet, there’s so much marine life! I cannot even begin to name all of the different creatures we saw.  Our harvest on that side actually turned out to be pretty good, catching about 12 Lobsters here. We also saw several small Moray Eels.
Check out some of these photos….

 

 


We did not take quite as many photos this afternoon, as we did earlier in the day.  We had caught nearly our limit of lobster so we headed in a little early.

We met up with our friends at the dock; they did very well for the day limiting out on their catch. Check out the photos….

 


Another amazing day on the water!  Just absolutely beautiful; words cannot describe what an amazing place this is.

The next morning we woke up and the whole crew took the boats out on a 10 mile ride to Alligator Light Reef, a marked reef with a massive light house off the lower keys. It’s a protected zone that allows no fishing, no spearfishing, and no taking of wildlife.  Take a look at the photos, you’ll see the amazing beauty this reef has to offer. Sea life abounds here. It is one of my favorite places in the Keys.  Want to learn more about Alligator Light?

Click on the link……

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alligator_Reef_Light

What a fabulous boat ride to Alligator Light Reef. The water is a brilliant crystal clear with a light blue-green tint to it; if you read the history, the lighthouse keepers referred to the water as “gin clear”.  You could see the bottom all the way out to the reef.  We saw several Loggerhead Sea Turtles as well as massive schools of Ballyhoo, which are a type of bait fish. Check out the photos….

When we arrived at Alligator Light, everyone anxiously got into the water and started swimming around. All you could hear was the children oohing and awing through their snorkels…  “Mom, Dad, look at this, look at that, what kind of fish is this?” Even the adults were amazed to see all the marine life at Alligator Light, it/s like Marine Biology 101… Words cannot even describe the beauty of this incredible place… Enjoy the photos….

 

 

Fish, fish and more fish. Every species you could think of. In the first photo above you’ll see Barracuda, Parrot Fish, Yellow Tail, Grey Snapper, and millions and millions of bait fish. Check out these videos of my son filming the base of the lighthouse underwater. You have probably never seen anything like this before! TURN UP THE VOLUME and listen to the popping shrimp underwater… it is like a million crackling noises all at once……..

 

Watch this second Video..

Are these videos just amazing? Did you hear all popping shrimp? Even more incredible in real life!!!!!! 🙂

I did ask Anne and my buddy Craig, do you want to hand feed the fish??? They were both like, seriously?? Yes seriously.. Check out the photos…..

 

 

Watch Craig hand feeding the fish. (CAUTION) one of the fish bites off the end of Craig’s finger……

 Just kidding…

 

 

 

Just an incredible experience, especially if the person has never done it before.

 

Well by now it was time to say goodbye to Alligator Light. These children, and of course their parents, will never ever forget this day as long as they live.  The things they saw and experienced today can never be duplicated until they come back to this magical place. Growing up in the Keys, I have been to Alligator Light many, many times and I’m still in awe with each visit. To be able to take friends and family out there and to see their excitement and enthusiasm is just an amazing feeling that I’m grateful to be able to share with other people.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Another Fantastic day on the water!  However, this day is not over yet…  Going to head to “Robbie’s” to hand-feed the Tarpon and have a fabulous lunch and drinks on the water. Sorry, but you will have to wait for the next edition of The Boating Guide: Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 5.

 

Until then, make time for Family and Friends. Do the things you talk about doing. Do not wait. Time goes by so fast. Like Nike says, “JUST DO IT!!”

 

Make it a great day, everyday, we all have that choice!!!!!!! 🙂

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

 

Hi Everyone … I made some changes to the last post, Lobstering in the Florida Keys Mini Season Part 2.  There are some great Photos, take a look and enjoy.  Maybe next year I will see you down there!!!

click here to read more on Lobstering in the Keys part 2

 

 

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Pt 2

Posted by Shane On November 9th

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Part 2

Hello everyone, I hope you have had a wonderful week!!! We are doing great here in Southwest Florida and the weather is beginning to cool down some. The fishing for Snook, RedFish, and Trout has been red hot. There are even Tarpon off the beaches right now chasing pods of bait. The offshore Grouper bite has been hot as well. I cannot wait to get on the water and wet a line!

 

The Real Estate Market is still moving right along. If homes are accurately priced to reflect today’s market value, they are selling. Of course, the homes that are overpriced continue to sit on the market waiting for buyers. As you know, interest rates dropped again this last week with 30 year fixed rate loans just above 4% and 15 year loans just above 3%. Keep in mind this will vary some from lender to lender and depend on how many points you may, or may not, pay.  As I said before, the homes on the water are moving. All price points are selling – from Gulf access homes in the high $100,000’s to the multi-million dollar homes. There is also a lot of new construction going up all over. In my neighborhood, there were three homes scraped and new homes are being built right now. I am seeing more and more of this type of turnover in many of our waterfront neighborhoods.

 

The snow birds are already here for the holidays, the roads appear to be filling up, and the restaurants are getting busy. I do not see a slowdown in sales of waterfront property; there is only so much of it and people from around the country and overseas want their own piece of paradise. If you are curious about what you can get for your money in Southwest Florida, or specifically about waterfront property values, please feel free to contact me and I will set you up on my FREE program that will automatically e-mail listings to you when they come on the market. It’s a neat program and I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

Okay now on to the fun stuff..

 

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Pt 2

We left off last week down in the Florida Keys looking for Lobster and scouting out new spots before the mini season opened up. If you missed last week’s Boating Guide, go to my archives and look up Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Part 1.

 

Well today was the big day. The opening of Mini Lobster Season in the Florida Keys. We all got up at about 4:30 am as to get the boats loaded, beat the crowds of boaters out onto the water, and get to our secret spots.

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Yes it is still very dark out. I have to tell you there is nothing more peaceful than planing off in your boat at night on flat calm water. No wind, no waves, not a ripple on the water. Just the smell of the ocean, and the boat hull gliding along the surface of the water. I will try to show you a photo of what this looks like. This photo does not do it justice though…

 

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We ran about 7 or 8 miles South, Southwest to our spots. What an amazing ride, so quiet, so peaceful. When we finally got to our spot, it was still dark out, so we got our lights and gear and splashed in to the water. The first spot had a few on it, nothing to write home about. Below is Paige and Mr. Craig; they would double check the size of the lobsters to be sure they were legal size.

 

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I cannot even begin to tell you how calm the water was, there was not a breath of wind. This is really good, so when we are scouting the ledges on the bay bottom, it makes it much easier to see…   Look how calm it was…

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We decided to move on to another spot, when we got there, we saw a lot of tentacles sticking out from under the ledges. Everyone jumped in. It is good to have spotters so if you are reaching up under a ledge and the Lobster shoots out the other end, you have a spotter to chase him down and get him!!! The spot we were on had a deep ledge, so we needed to bring down a scuba tank with us. My son Wade went to reach into one hole and out popped a Moray Eel. Bad news! They have razor sharp teeth that will slice you wide open, not to mention their teeth angle backwards, so if you try pulling your hand out of its mouth, it will tear your hand up. Wade decided to leave those Lobsters in that hole where the Moray Eel was. Check him out….

 

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It was okay though, we had several other ledges to check out that were full of Bugs.. (Remember Lobsters are also called Bugs) We had everyone in the water – the catchers, the spotters, the chasers – everyone plays a roll, an important roll. Enjoy these photos….

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Remember I mentioned earlier, we have spotters up above that watch for the runaway bugs!!!  Well, Anne saw one getting away, she wasted no time and caught him, bare handed by the way, no gloves on!!! It tore her hand up some, but she was not about to let that bug get away!

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I gotta tell you what Team Work we had. Bernie, Craig, Wade, Anne, Tyler, Paige we all had our positions and jobs to do, Team work!!!!!

 

We decided to hit one more spot; we were getting close to our limit of Lobster. When we got to our other spot, we found just off of it, a Lobster Motel. This is where someone uses some type of man-made object, whether it is a barrel, a sunken boat, a car hood, anything man-made. We came across a barrel full of bugs, they were all shorts though…

 

 

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We found another ledge full of bugs. We all took our positions. We had to bring down the air tank this time so we could get more bottom time…Craig was on his mark to be sure no bug escaped!!!!!

 

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We did great at this hole. By this time we had reached our limit of Lobster. So we decided to head on back in to get the other kids so they could have a chance to catch some bugs as well.

We had a fantastic boat ride back for the 10 mile run. Flat calm crystal clear Florida Keys water!!!! Enjoy the photos……

 

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What an amazing morning we had boating, looking for bugs, spending time with Family and Great friends. Words cannot even describe what an amazing adventure we had this morning…

 

This is all the time we have this week so stay tuned next week for our afternoon Lobstering outing with all the kids. Until next time, make time for your Family and Friends. Time goes by so fast. Just DO IT!!!!

Make it a great day!!!!!!!

Lobstering In The Florida Keys Mini Season Pt 1

Posted by Shane On October 31st

Hello every one! I hope you all are doing great. I know it has been some time since I sent out the Boating Guide. I have had a lot of response from people out there who miss it. They say they miss the updates on our local Real Estate Market and what our market is doing.  I have had an even larger response from some saying they miss the boating guide itself, all the great boating adventures, places to go by boat, whether it’s really cool beaches, awesome places to fish, great places to go shelling, great restaurants and bars to go to by water. I have done this for years and years, we are all geared up and ready to share what is happening in the Waterfront Real Estate market as well as, I know  many cool places to share with you regarding boating,  beaching, shelling, fishing, restaurants, boating trips for places to go for the afternoon or longer boating trips for days. Please remember, no matter what I write about, please always feel free to contact me and ask me any questions. I am more than happy to share my years of waterfront knowledge with anyone who has questions. We are living The Waterfront Lifestyle and I could not imagine it any other way and I would love to share it with you.

 

Let’s start with our Waterfront Real Estate Market. 2013 has been a phenomenal year for Real Estate sales on the water. We have seen prices go up quickly. Why? Do you ask? There is only so much waterfront property available, our inventory of waterfront homes has come down. People who have always dreamed of being on the water are now living their dream of owning their home on the water and having their boat in the back yard ready to go boating anytime. Many people from up north and overseas are coming here and buying, because our waterfront property here, is still very much affordable compared to other parts of the Country. You have asked me what price ranges are selling, I would have to answer, all price ranges. Homes in South Ft. Myers are selling from the low $200’s to a Riverfront Estate listed at over $5,000,000 recently became pending, according to the MLS. There are waterfront homes with Gulf access in Cape Coral selling below the $200,000 mark to well in to the Millions in Cape Harbour. The sleeper area is North Ft. Myers in a neighborhood called Waterway Estates. You can buy a gulf access home there in the mid to high $100,000 range. Shoot down to the Estero and Bonita area and waterfront prices will jump up some, but you still have good access out to Estero Bay and then out to the Gulf of Mexico.  Now moving farther south to Collier County (Naples) everyone has heard of Naples. Waterfront homes here start in the Million plus range up into the tens of Millions of dollars. South West Florida has waterfront Gulf access properties for everyone at all different price ranges. If you are serious about an area and want to know prices for waterfront homes for sale, pending and what has sold? Call me or e mail me and I will set you up on a free program that will e mail you all the details of any waterfront property you have questions about here in South West Florida. It is free and I will be happy to get you set up.

 

Okay, now onto the fun part of the Boating Guide… Where to go by boat and what to do by boat??? Should we stay here in our local waterways? Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Picnic Island, Captiva Island, North Captiva Island, Cayo Costa Island, Cabbage Key,  Boca Grande Pass, Gasparilla Island or take trip to the Florida keys, Dry Tortugas(Fort Jefferson), Key West or the Bahamas?

 

LOBSTERING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS Mini SEASON Part 1

 

Tell you what; let’s start with a trip to the Florida Keys for Lobster Mini Season. If you have never been, you have got to go. Mini Lobster Season is when the Lobster Season opens early for two days only, they call it sportsman season. It is a blast; there are a bunch of Lobsters to be caught. Another name for Lobsters is “bugs”, yes bugs…

This year as years in the past we went with a group of families. Our local Fort Myers families and some families from up north who have never done this before. We loaded the boats on the trailers and headed to the keys. The first day is the drive to Layton Key which is about 4 to 4.5 hours depending on the traffic. Once we got there we unloaded, got settled in and got the boats into the water and brought them around to the hotel, which is located right on the canal.

 

The next morning we got up to scout our area where we would be bolstering. We loaded up the boats and headed out to our secret spots. We guard these spots with total secrecy; you are not allowed to tell anyone where the secret honey holes are. When we reached our destination, there were other boats around doing the same thing, scoping out the honey holes for the next days catch. Let me tell you, it is so hard to see all those bugs just sitting under the ledges and you cannot touch them or bother them in any way or you will face stiff penalties! We did find several new honey holes FULL of bugs. Below is what we are looking for from the surface, once you see these ledges from the surface you jump into the water and dive down to the holes and ledges and see who is home.

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That lobster is looking me right back in the eye and saying, Ha Ha,, Cannot touch me. Ugggg….. Until tomorrow Mr. Lobster.

 

Check out this video, (turn up the volume)……

My son Wade looking for Lobster. If you look closely as soon as he goes down and looks in the first hole, what comes sticking his head out?? A Moray Eel. Yikes!!!!!!

click on the link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65htXNglFLM

Okay now Dad’s turn to go down and scout out some bugs for the next two days catch!!!

Can you say Honey hole?? Wow!!!!!! (turn up the volume)……

click on the link…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15IGAxYLHx0

 

It is a great time for the kids as well, You never know what you are going to see. Look what Jake is holding. A big Horseshoe Crab..

IMGP7974

 

We had so much fun the first day on the water. The weather was beautiful and calm. It was great to spend time with friends and family.

IMGP7980 IMGP7977

After an amazing day on the water looking for the Lobsters we headed back in to swim in the pool and get ready for a big feast with everyone.

You will have to wait until next week for LOBSTERING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS MInI SEASON Part 2. I promise you, it will be very exciting and interesting.

Please remember, time goes by so fast!!! Make time for your  family and friends. As Nike says, “Just Do It”. Time goes by  soooo fast…..see you next week.

Make it a great weekend!!!!!

 

 

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